YEP Letters: October 25

Have your say

I would like to thank the YEP for doing the Voice of Leeds survey, which found that 70 per cent of respondents were opposed to trolleybus (YEP, October 22).

I hope that the West Yorkshire Combined Transport Authority will listen to the results. They appear to suffer from tunnel vision and selective deafness with regard to the trolleybus.

Coun James Lewis, for instance, said that objectors are concerned when you change the infrastructure.

So I would like to make clear why I object to the NGT:

1. It will not help everybody. I cannot believe that it would be possible to run existing bus services alongside the trolleybus. The roads are too narrow.

2. Trams and trolleybuses work when they are on disused railway tracks or where the whole city has the same system.

3. They are dangerous to cyclists.

4. The trolleybus is a ‘bendy’ on wires and it would not be possible to run double deckers on the same route.

5. We could lose First Bus if we get NGT. In Leeds people criticise them but could another company do better? It must be challenging running a bus service along narrow, twisting roads. Swansea and South Pembrokeshire are very satisfied with them.

6. First Bus have offered new state of the art buses like they have in London. These would be flexible and far superior to NGT.

7. I shudder to think how much money has been spent on this saga of trolleybuses and the supertram which has gone on for the best part of 20 years. This money could have been spent on rail and bus improvements.

I hope that the public inquiry will rule against trolleybus.

Pauline Johnson, Beeston

There have been a number of letters and articles in the YEP recently about public transport, including comments about better links to the airport.

It is interesting to note that public spending on transport infrastructure is £2,595 per head in London and £160 per head in Yorkshire and Humber.

London will soon be using its new underground, Crossrail, which links Heathrow Airport in the west with Essex and Kent in the east, passing through Canary Wharf.

This will cover a distance of 73 miles with 26 miles of new tunnelling at a cost of nearly £15bn.

This new line will be added to the existing 11 underground lines.

Are we in Leeds to be fobbed off with a nine mile, single north/south trolleybus route, which goes nowhere near the airport, which has a capacity for 160 passengers, 100 of whom will, during peak times, have to stand as there will be only 60 seats?

It has been said at the public inquiry by the trolleybus promoters that “people have to stand on underground trains” but the London tube is much smoother and faster than any kind of bus.

Also, underground trains don’t have to stop suddenly for unexpected occurrences such as a pedestrian stepping out into the road or other vehicles or cyclists pulling out or stopping in front of them.

Imagine what would happen to those hundred standing passengers if the trolleybus had to make a sudden emergency stop.

Susan Sleeman, Headingley

Plenty earn less than nurses

I HAVE to agree with John Martin’s comments about nurses’ salaries (YEP, October 21).

I recall a conversation a few years ago when a nurse said whether she earned £25,000 or £35,000 a year she would always receive sympathy from the general public as they always assumed nurses were poorly paid.

Don’t get me wrong, we have some fantastic hardworking nurses within our health service.

However, I am sure many people in other walks of life also “deserve” a little extra.

If we have sympathy for the average nurse not being able to manage, perhaps we should also have sympathy for other hardworking people earning considerably less, both within the NHS and outside – everyone has similar bills to pay.

Carol Gannon, Barwick in Elmet

Student action long overdue

It HAS been a very long time coming but at last, some action has been taken against those students who are of the opinion that they can come to this city and make residents’ lives a misery.

I refer to your article (YEP, October 18) about the nine students who received ASBOs.

I have campaigned with Headingley residents for decades against the large minority of thoughtless, noisy students and it is now long overdue for a combined crackdown by the police, the university authorities and city council.

Headingley and Hyde Park residents have suffered for far too long whilst the council and university have continually “turned a blind eye” to this massive problem.

John Copperthwaite, Headingley

Parade offers proud tribute

OVER THE last several years I have attended the Remembrance Day Parade in Mirfield.

This parade has grown in stature and in numbers and is now recognised as being the largest parade of its kind outside Whitehall, London.

Last year over 5,500 people attended and this year the numbers are set to increase.

I know they have two brass marching bands, a concert band, a pipe band and a marching corps of drums from the RAF ATC.

Last year I was impressed with the precision, timing and planning that went into the event and the fantastic spirit in which it was conducted.

The parade is organised by a Royal British Legion official and pub landlord of the Old Colonial pub in Mirfield, Tim Wood.

This has to be totally unique in Britain and is a proud tribute to those that gave so much.

Dale Senior, Mirfield

Paltry pension is a disgrace

PENSIONERS now in their 80s worked in the late 1940s and 50s in jobs with no pension schemes.

Now most of their savings have been spent. Many can no longer replace anything broken in their home, afford to decorate or buy anything for their grandchildren.

The pension is a disgrace in this wealthy country. If MPs get a 10 per cent rise so should pensioners, the money is there.

As most pensioners cannot march in a protest how about a protest vote to Ukip? Why not? They could not be worse off.

Ken Bass, Scholes

Support plans for footbridge

A planning application for a footbridge over the River Wharfe at Burley-in-Wharfedale has now been submitted by the Burley Bridge Association (BBA).

The bridge will cross between North and West Yorkshire and provide a safer pedestrian route for the public.

There has been pressure for many years for the public right of way over the Wharfe to be improved.

At present a single line of stepping stones serves as the route across a wide and fast-flowing river, which can rise quickly after rain.

The design by leading bridge engineers Ramboll UK is considered an excellent solution to the challenges the site presents.

Members of the public can support the application by letter or email. Contact Bradford Council before November 14 using the reference 14/03664/FUL. Write to Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Planning Services, Jacob’s Well, Bradford BD1 5RW. By email contact

Peter Young, Secretary, Burley Bridge Association